Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Muscles--Massage; Massage therapy;


Context: Cupping massage and petrissage may be beneficial in the treatment of DOMS, however, there is limited research on the application and use of cupping massage on DOMS. This study examines the effectiveness of petrissage versus cupping massage on the pain associated with DOMS among a healthy population. Objective: To determine the efficacy of cupping massage in comparison to petrissage on the treatment of pain associated with acute muscle injury. Design: Experimental, single blinded study with stratification of participants. Participants: Thirty-two healthy individuals between the ages of 18 and 22. Methods: Participants underwent a protocol to induce DOMS on the bicep muscle. They were then randomly divided into two treatment groups; petrissage and cupping massage. Participants then received treatment 48 hours post-induction, and every 24 hours subsequently until they reported no pain (zero out of ten) on the numeric rating scale (NRS). Outcome Measures: Perceived pain on an 11-point NRS. Results: The repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significant difference between pain score prior to the DOMS session and the scores reported just prior to the first treatment session (F (1,30) =140.90, p < 0.001), but no session by group interaction (1,30) = 0.31, p = 0.58). DOMS was induced and the groups were the same prior to the first treatment. However, there was no difference between the two groups before, during, or immediately after treatment session one through four (p > 0.05). Thirty-one participants reported that they felt the treatment they received was effective in relieving DOMS. Conclusion: Based on the results, there is no difference between cupping massage and petrissage in their effect on pain associated with DOMS. Although 97% (31/32) of participants perceived their treatment as effective, some in the cupping group reported an increase in pain following the first two cupping sessions. Clinically, cupping massage cannot be recommended over petrissage for the treatment of DOMS.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


School of Kinesiology, Allied Health, and Human Services

First Advisor

Todd Evans, Co-Chair

Second Advisor

Tricia Schrage, Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (vii, 76 pages)



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